posted on November 14, 2010 22:00
Project Sipster Part 3: Optimism Meets Realism
by Dave Coleman
If you've ever done a project car on an urgent gotta-achieve-something-significant-every-single-week schedule, you'll realize that just building this car was a 29-hour-a-day job. On top of that job, Jared Holstein, then Executive Producer of Top Gear.com America, had to keep the site running while he was doing this. He had his entire staff (intern Chris Gifford) with him on this trek, so together in their sleeplessness, they were a roaming office.
During this chaos, Jared snapped this pic of the office he shared with Chris while they enjoyed the relative warmth of Regina:
There is some irony in the fact that I'm re-posting this story from my temporary office in a hotel room in Mexico City. The internet is so glamorous...
Another fun little tidbit: When I found this draft of the story, it still had a list of possible titles for Jared to choose from, most of them lame. Two of the least-lame were:
Project Sipster: 121 Wires and a Prayer
Project Sipster: Just Stick it in There!
Enough reminiscing. On to the story:
To step into CWS Tuning
is to step directly into Cam Waugh's brain. The walls, the floor and half the ceiling of the shop are lined with what looks suspiciously like stacks of greasy junk. To the untrained eye it's a tripping hazard, but to a mechanical prodigy like Waugh, this is a library, a university, and his memory, all in one.
Any dropout parts jockey can open a parts book and order a new left axle for a '91 Integra, but what if you have an engine from a '91 Integra and an insatiable desire to put it in an '86 Chevy Sprint? There isn't a book in the world that will tell you which axle will work for that one.
Somewhere in Waugh's tangled shelf of worn-out axles is the answer, and he knows exactly where it is. The problem with this kind of filing system, of course, is that the more Waugh knows, the bigger this pile necessarily gets. By the time your resume includes putting a Supra Turbo engine in a BMW 535i, cramming a Cadillac Northstar V8 in a Volkswagen Golf, squeezing a Mazda 323 GTX engine in a Ford Festiva and concocting an off-roader by bolting an Austin Mini to a Suzuki Samurai frame and powering it with a Chevy Chevette engine running a Volkswagen fuel injection system, your shop is so full of knowledge there's barely room left for two Rabbits. Which is just about where we step into the picture.